Whitlock: What Derek Mason’s Vanderbilt Failure Says About Excuses, Critical Race Theory And Racism

The greatest obstacle to success is an excuse. 

People bound for success run from excuses. People bound for failure look for them. 

Modern political liberalism, particularly its racial orthodoxy, is the science of excuse-making, the training of black minds for failure. Wokeness is the Doctorate of Race Philosophy. Black Lives Matter is the online, social media university awarding PhDs in Race Philosophy. Jack Dorsey’s “Black Twitter” algorithm serves as the faculty, teaching athletes, entertainers, journalists, bloggers and broadcasters the doctrine of Critical Race Theory.

I do not reject the legitimacy of CRT, the notion that some American institutions are constructed to advance the cause of white supremacy. I just happen to believe we’ve identified the wrong construction company. 

Conservative Construction does not run academia, the mainstream media, the music industry or Hollywood. For the last 60 years, Liberal Construction has run all of those industries, and those industries are at the forefront of brainwashing black people into believing we should spend every waking hour looking for excuses and examples of offensive verbal interaction with white people.

(You might be asking, “What about the criminal justice system?” That is a flawed system rigged against the poor. The issue has been racialized to ensure the flaws are never properly addressed. I’ll expound on this point at another time.)

Liberal Construction, in partnership with Nike and China, is in the process of executing a “backflip takeover” of the sports world, which had been Conservative Construction’s strongest influencer of American culture. 

Not anymore. The Colin Kaepernick Kneeling Trojan Horse has turned sports into the victimhood Olympics, the most powerful venue in popular culture to preach critical race excuse-making.

Right now, there’s a class being taught at Vanderbilt. Derek Mason, the school’s black head football coach, was fired this week after his team started 0-8 in his sixth season. Yesterday, longtime college football reporter, Ivan Maisel, wrote a long piece that promoted on its homepage: “Derek Mason’s firing further exposes college coaching’s lack of diversity.”

It’s the standard, finger-pointing piece that insinuates that racism explains the lack of diversity and, to a lesser degree, Mason’s failure. Maisel begins his story lamenting the fact that he and others have written the exact same story year after year. 

It’s the definition of insanity. I like and respect Maisel. He is well-intentioned and well-sourced. His piece subtly covers some provocative ground, especially when he uses several paragraphs to point out the role donors/boosters play in naming a new football coach. 

Ivan Maisel is not the problem. It’s the institution of sports journalism that won’t allow Maisel to go hard at the root problem. The liberal-run institution of journalism does not allow probing of real problems facing black people. That is prohibited. It might lead to actual solutions. It might provoke black people to wake up every day looking for solutions rather than excuses and meaningless verbal offenses. 

If you want to see more black head coaches, the black millionaire football alums at Power Five schools must gain influence at their alma maters by consistently donating large sums of money. 

You have to pay the cost to be the boss. Everything else is just posturing, virtue-signaling and excuse-making. You have to be involved financially and physically to exercise influence at a university. 

Providing whiny quotes to a reporter accusing your university of racism as it relates to the head football coach does not win you influence or promote change. 

Let’s look at Derek Mason. He spent four years at Stanford. He replaced James Franklin, who is black. Franklin parlayed back-to-back 9-4 seasons into the head job at Penn State. In seven seasons, Mason won 27 of 82 games. He never finished above .500. 

Derek Mason’s journey at Vanderbilt does not further a racism narrative in college football. Mason was given a fair opportunity, and he failed. No excuses.   

I used to make excuses. My parents didn’t allow it. Their generation made too many sacrifices to tolerate my excuses. My father never knew his father. He suffered racial indignities that left real scars. They lived through racial oppression that limited their freedom, their educational opportunities. Their generation won me freedom and opportunity. 

I tried to quit the Ball State football team early in my second season. I didn’t like my offensive line coach. I thought I was treated unfairly. I had a long list of excuses. My mother hung up the phone and told me to have a good life living with my father. My father hung up the phone and told me to have a good life living with my mother.

A month or two ago, I shared a story about my offensive line coach in high school, Lee Dilk. I injured my elbow in a game as a sophomore. Before he sent me back into the game, he sternly warned me that the injury was not an excuse for poor play. 

We all love excuses — white, black, brown, yellow, whatever. People who love us, respect us, want the best for us, take the excuses away. 

The Liberal Construction Company does not love, respect or want the best for black people. That’s why liberals promote excuses for any black failure and disavow any excuse for white failure. If you can control a group’s expectations, you can control their level of success. A generation of black people have had their expectations diminished by Critical Race Theory. It’s a mental slavery, a Jim Crow for the mind.  

I’m not in denial of the existence of racism. I just reject using it as an excuse, and I refuse to fall for the clever marketing of racism’s primary proponents.

If you are interested in a media appearance by Jason Whitlock, please click this link and give us the details.

Written by Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock is a longtime sports writer, TV personality, radio host, podcaster and the newest member of the Outkick family.
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  1. As always well written Mr. Whilock. I don’t know Coach Mason. From what I have seen from the way he treats his players, to comments from those who know him, I believe he is an honorable man, and a good coach. He was given an opportunity at Vanderbilt to continue the winning traditions of Franklin. He failed. That’s it. That is how sports programs operate at the highest levels from High School to Professional. Win.

  2. You’re the “Best in the business” Mr. Whitlock! A long time fan of your work, I go all the way back to your page 2 days on I’m glad to find you and Clay Travis having great success with Outkick. You are what led me to Outkick and Clay has been a welcome addition to my listening platform. I would respectfully compare the two of you as modern day versions of Howard Cosell. That is to say both of you “Tell it like it is…” regardless of what may or may not be popular opinion. Keep up the great work sir!


  3. Thank You Jason for being a voice of truth. I so appreciate you and Clay creating this forum where you can tell it like it is. MSM is sickening in their hypocrisy and continued crying of racism every time something doesn’t go the way they want it to. I truly believe that > 95% of the people in America are good people that will give anyone a chance and help anyone they can, but media always tries to focus on the 5% and make them look like the majority. The problem with victimhood is that nobody understands the definition of equal. They all want greater than or equal. They want the good, but don’t want to have to tolerate the bad. Equal pay, even if they can’t perform at the same level. (I hope you are well compensated, because you truly outperform 99% of the journalist in America!)

  4. Exactly… D1 football jobs are hard to get and harder to keep, and he took a really tough one. I don’t doubt Coach Mason earned his opportunity for the job, but keeping it required results. That did not happen. Doesn’t mean he’s a bad coach, he just failed at this stop. The current coach in New England had a rough stop in Cleveland if memory serves.

    • Frankly, his fault for taking the Vanderbilt job. Nobody with any ambitions should go there. I don’t care how much of a competitor you are – that’s a dead-end job for most coaches. Mason may not be a bad coach, but he isn’t good enough to elevate Vanderbilt beyond what it’s been for its entire existence.

  5. You’ve been hammering these themes for months now. I’m curious if you feel your making any progress in the “course” that you have been offering? Are any journalists or athletes reaching out to you (even off the record) to agree that this group think and wokeism is bullshit? Just curious. I always taught my class that if people get along, the “rights leaders” go out of business. Walter Williams passed the other day, are you familiar with him, you should check out his opinions and writings.

  6. Crazy how its always racism when a black football coach gets canned for failing on the field. Crazier when its a liberal college doing the firing. Even crazier is when its at the pro level, and its Hue Jackson and he goes 3-36-1 and people say he is a victim of racism.

    Everyone fails at some point in their lives. Three of the best CFB coaches in the last 50 years have been miserable failures in the NFL (Saban, Holtz, Spurrier). I didn’t hear people rallying to keep them in the NFL to keep up the number of white head coaches. Instead, they were eagerly shown the door.

    Being told your failure is because of your ethnicity to cover the substandard work product is insulting. If someone is dumb enough to buy into it, it prevents that person from critically evaluating what went wrong and how to fix it. But its pretty clear keeping people of color in vulnerable, victim-hood, failure-ready situations is the prime directive of the left

      • Its a double-whammy. If you fail, you are told that you could not control it because of your ethnicity. If you succeed, you are told that it was not due to your efforts, it was because the caring progressive made it possible.

        Progressivism is geared to shove the blame onto others while accepting the praise for everything positive that occurs. There is a total lack of personal responsibility and accountability within those tenets as acknowledging both would undermine that philosophy.

    • Ha ha, good point Kobi. When I saw that headline yesterday my eyes just glazed over. I don’t even know why I visit that site anymore because practically everything is behind a paywall (and I’m not paying for their woke crappy content)!

  7. Hold up Whit, I had to stop at this…how is Maisel NOT part of the problem??? He didn’t have to write the article choosing that topic. You’re giving him a pass and blaming the company cause I assume he’s a friend or something, but you’re dead wrong on that.

  8. There’s a story out today about the resignation/firing (depending whose side you believe) of an AI researcher at Google. She’s a black woman. I don’t know any of her bona fides in her discipline, but it looks like she’s well-respected in the field, and has done some important work to advance the field. In general, I think there are a lot of dangerous aspects to AI. There’s the potential to use the power of these methods to really exert power by those who wield it over those they disagree with. I think a stern, ethical eye needs to be placed on it at all times, and I’m glad there are people who are attempting to stay vigilant. The story itself is a she said/they said tale of an employee against one of the world’s most powerful (if not THE most powerful) corporation in the world in Google. Again, there are two sides to any of these kinds of stories, so I can’t pretend to know which side is right.

    That is all a preface to a larger point that this conflict within Google illuminates, and it’s a theme covered in this piece and so many others that have been written in the last several months. So much of the culture is now focused on race and conflict. I think this is largely because racial conflict is easy to see, easy to sow, and nothing sells for the media like conflict. Heck, OutKick wouldn’t probably exist without these conflicts. I don’t like typing that, but it’s almost certainly true. But if you’re a corporation, the last thing you want to deal with is conflict. Conflict means bad press, and bad press means boycotts and all kinds of other similar unpleasantries that require an expensive cadre of lawyers that will inevitably eat into your bottom line. And now, here you have Google with an internal revolt (albeit, so far, a small one), fueled by the tinder of CRT. Because, you see, this woman’s main complaint is that AI is not as effective in identifying ‘women of color’ as it is white males. She may have a point, I don’t really know, I’m only tangentially aware of all of this because of my involvement in the technology sector.

    At the end of the day though, this woman will gain fame, and she will believe that she will have advanced the causes of black people everywhere. This kerfuffle will almost certainly result in Google once again evaluating their hiring practices. More expensive D&I consultants will hold meeting after meeting flogging the same tropes over and over again about systemic bias, and how Google is just an offshoot of white supremacy, blah blah blah. Great, those pigs get to feed from the trough even more than they already have. Meanwhile, the people who really need to be lifted up remain at the bottom. And more nimble entities, who truly couldn’t be bothered with all of this nonsense, will innovate and run circles around the bigger companies. These smaller entities will not care in the least about CRT or anything racial whatsoever. Having been involved in several startups, your focus is on making it through the next month, not the melanin mean in the office. This sort of conflict will reward the unproductive elite gatekeepers of the Racial Industrial Complex, but the hardworking people who just need a lift up will continue to thrash and become callous to society. In the end, this is less equal, more unfair, and more poisonous to our society.

    • I would imagine an AI that uses lenses to see would have difficulty seeing black people. It’s not as if it hasn’t happened before – years ago there was a story of two people trying to use an apple computer that was supposed to be able to ID faces on its own was able to see the white person fine but the black person wasn’t recognized. I think it’s all the same reason cameras have a hard time focusing on, say, black cats – the darkness itself causes problems with the lenses that the computer sees through. But, it’s easier to just pretend to find an instance of wazizm by a woke, easily cowed company and give oneself a false sense of righteousness.

  9. It’s a sad state of affairs. People should be allowed to fail no matter skin type. It’s how people learn and grow.
    I guarantee that when Anthony Lynn gets canned in San Diego rags like the undefeated, espn will decry his firing as racist.

  10. I do agree with Whitlock that what often keeps the black man down is the excuse of their skin color and low expectations from white liberals. Best way to defeat racism is living a God fearing successful life.

    • This is why BLM, a Marxist organization, is trying so hard to imprint itself into black culture – sever their tradition ties to Christianity. Does anybody think they don’t know their best avenue to greater power is destroying the moral fiber of America?

  11. Jason the other problem is those like Ibram Kendi promoting the racist anti-racist message which not only is victimology but also wants to burn down the entire capitalist system rather than compete. This is fueling the excuses mentality big time. Many are starting to fight back like you are. Coleman Hughes had the balls to challenge Kendi to a debate, thus far Kendi has wimped out. John McWhorter of Columbia is also calling Kendi out and was called a “racist” by Kendi for a critique of anti-racism. Go figure. Just keep it up Jason, you are helping many to stand up for “being better today than yesterday” instead of blaming others.

  12. i really want America to start publicizing the racism…lets just get it all out on the table…If GF was a racist crime, lets see the evidence…the implied racism is getting old and stale..just like the implied (fill in the blank)..most people just want to live and give zero Fs about these things

  13. Jason, great column. I just read it again. I also just read Ivan Maisel’s column. (I didn’t like having to click on MSESPN’s site, but I wanted to see what the guy was saying).

    Ivan’s tone (to me at least) came across as a well-intentioned, as if he truly wants to believe in his heart that the liberal narrative is true, as if he truly wants to believe that he is on the “right side of history”, as if he truly wants to believe that he is doing his small part by penning his nice little story with a nice little bow tied on the end about how ‘some things have barely evolved at all’.

    Yes, Ivan, although the number of minority coaches has increased, there are still too few minority coaches. I agree with you there Ivan. But I do not agree that we should take liberal policies, policies which have held minorities back, and then dial them up to 11. If Liberals have shaped our culture and society through dominating media, social media, and academia, and if liberal policies have failed, the solution is not to turn around and dial these same policies up to 11.

    And Jason, most of all, from reading Maisel’s column, it really came across as a column which illustrates what you wrote:

    “Ivan Maisel is not the problem. It’s the institution of sports journalism that won’t allow Maisel to go hard at the root problem. The liberal-run institution of journalism does not allow probing of real problems facing black people. That is prohibited. It might lead to actual solutions.”

  14. Great story Jason. I wish everyone was told this truth from a young age…A lot are too busy masking the truth in order to be accepted by the masses. Eventually they find out that the masses never cared.
    Bless you guys for what you do here, I will be faithful while you guys stay truthful.

  15. Jason, would like to see you posting again on youtube. You are the reason I support this channel. I’m more interested in your video contributions than your written ones. You reach a far wider audience on youtube. Your message is vital in these times.

  16. Jason what your are saying and writing is going right over the heads of people . Black man and woman need to free there mines from the white liberal democratic policies .That tell the black communities the reason there children schools are terrible the crime is out of control and no jobs in there area . Is because of racism then you look and see Black Mayors ,Police ,Teacher ,City Councils , The liberals have convinced and with the help of the media that only the Gov. can save them by voting democratic . Sixty year later thing are worse .In the 40 and 50 the black family was stronger then the white family Black man father there children. The black church was the focus of the community and the leader of the churches help police the cities .MLK AND M X both new that God was the answer

  17. Jason, that’s a great anecdote- both your parents telling you good luck. The problem is, if you have one weak-hearted one, you would have gotten off the hook. Not everyone is so lucky to have two parents that would do this.

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